Last updated November 2021

Quick facts of skin tightening and lifting

  • Skin tightening or lifting has traditionally required surgery, however, there are now non-surgical methods available.
  • There are non-surgical methods using heat energy generated from ultrasound or radiofrequency to penetrate down to the deep skin or foundational layers of the skin to tighten it. These include Ultherapy, Infini, and Pelleve.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections can help to reduce the action of downward pulling muscles in the face resulting in an upwards lift of the skin.
  • Dermal fillers can replace lost volume in the face and this can help to re-expand and tighten skin.
  • Lasers such as the carbon dioxide laser can resurface as well as tighten skin on the face.
  • A thread lift can be used to lift the skin by using special threads or sutures to pull the skin backwards and upwards
  • Our bodies naturally produce less collagen as we age, but non-surgical procedures can aid in boosting collagen production

How can I lift and tighten my face non-surgically?

Lifting or tightening the skin on the face has traditionally required surgery, such as facelifts, eyelid skin reduction (blepharoplasty) and brow lifts. These procedures have been performed to elevate and tighten facial skin, however, surgery is not for everyone.

Non-surgical treatments are a less invasive alternative to surgical options, and produce similar results. As we age, the body reduces the amount of collagen produced and as the collagen degrades, it leads to signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Non-surgical skin tightening procedures can diminish the signs of ageing, increase collagen production overtime and provide instant results, with minimal downtime.

Who is a good candidate for non-surgical skin tightening?

There are various sub-groups of people where surgery is not required. These groups may include;

  • Those where surgery is not warranted as they are too young or have too little skin laxity to justify a surgical procedure. These people generally want to tighten the skin or lift the skin as a preventative measure
  • Those who are unfit for surgery
  • Those who just prefer not to have surgery if possible
  • Those who would like to delay surgery as much as possible, and in the meantime try to achieve some skin tightening/lifting with less invasive non-surgical procedures.
  • Those currently experiencing signs of ageing, including sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • Those looking for preventative measures against signs of ageing as it aids in boosting collagen production

With new technology and techniques, it is now possible to lift and tighten the face without surgery. These techniques are minimally invasive and require no significant recovery period in most cases.

Skin tightening treatments available

Pelleve skin tightening 

Pelleve is a non-invasive procedure using a radio-frequency device to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The process involves an advanced gradual dermal skin heating process using Radio Frequency that gently heats the skin to about 41 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the collagen fibres shrink, resulting in firmer, tighter, younger-looking skin.

The downtime and pain factor is minimal, with very mild redness for less than one day. We suggest 2-3 sessions to achieve optimal results.

The pain factor is very minimal, with somewhat effectiveness.


Infini is a device that combines skin needling with radio frequency. It involves 49 needles entering the skin at one time and a radio frequency current is applied at the tips of the needles. The needles can be inserted into various depths of the skin, up to 3.5mm. The process heats the skin, targeting fine lines and wrinkles by resurfacing the skin to improve texture and tone. Therefore producing new collagen and tightening the skin. It also is a good treatment for atrophic (indented) acne scarring.

The downtime is 3 to 5 days, with a suggestion of 3 sessions to achieve results.

The pain factor is quite mild, with extreme effectiveness.

Ultherapy (focused ultrasound)

Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy to target deep structural layers of the skin without causing disruption to the skin’s surface. The treatment focuses ultrasound energy to a single point that is deep to the skin. Thousands of these points are used in Ultherapy to target specific points beneath, or as deep as 4mm into the skin to heat these areas to a critical temperature. At this temperature, skin tightens, new collagen is formed, thus creating a lifting effect.

There is no visible downtime, with a suggestion of 1 session for ideal results.

The pain factor is moderate, with extreme effectiveness.

Thread lifts 

A thread life is a non-surgical procedure where temporary sutures are used to create a subtle “lift” in the skin. This gives the effect of pulling the skin back slightly, and therefore lifts and tightens the face.

The downtime is usually 1 week, with minimal swelling and bruising. We suggest doing 1 session, however the effects may not be long lived.

The pain factor is minimal if done under sedation, but severe if the client is awake. The effectiveness is moderate.

Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing 

The carbon dioxide laser resurfacing procedure involves resurfacing the skin to reduce wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation problems, and to tighten the skin. It actually removes a layer of skin as well as heating the skin to tighten it. It is particularly effective around the eyes for skin tightening. It can be performed in fractional mode (small columns of laser energy are fired into the skin, leaving some untreated skin) which reduces healing times, or in non-fractional mode, which has greater downtime.

There is significant swelling, redness and scabbing, with a 2 week downtime to recover at home. We suggest having one session of this treatment.

The pain factor is minimal if done under sedation, but severe if the client is awake. The treatment is extremely effective and works well around the eyes.

Anti-wrinkle injections

Anti-wrinkle injections can be used to selectively relax various muscles of the face. By relaxing the downward pulling muscles of the face, it is possible to allow the upward pulling muscles to be relatively stronger, and therefore cause an upward lift in the face

The muscles of the face generally work in pairs, and usually there is a downward pulling muscle which is opposed by an upward pulling muscle. For example, there is a muscle that pulls the corners of the mouth upwards and backwards when you smile, and opposing muscles that pull the corners of the mouth downwards.

Examples of this include;

  • relaxing the muscle underneath the brows to create an eyebrow lift
  • relaxing the muscle that pulls down the corner of the mouth to help lift the corners of the mouth
  • relaxing the muscles in the neck that pull the jawline/jowls/cheeks down it is possible to lift the jowls and improve the jawline. Often this technique is called a Nerfertiti lift, named after the Egyptian Queen, who was known for her defined jawline.

Mild bruising may occur after the procedure, with a suggestion of 3 to 4 monthly sessions for consistent results.

The pain factor is quite minimal, with somewhat effectiveness.

Dermal fillers 

One of the key causes of facial ageing is volume loss. Volume loss can lead to skin laxity, in a similar way that a beach ball would if it lost some air. Replacement of lost volume can therefore ‘re-inflate’ the face, tighten and lift skin. Dermal fillers are the most common way of replacing lost volume in the face. They can be used in areas such as the cheeks, brow, jawline, and chin to help to lift skin and to improve skin firmness.

Bruising and swelling may occur post-treatment, with a suggestion of 6 to 12 monthly sessions, depending on the area treated and the filler used.

The pain factor is minimal, with somewhat effectiveness.

How much does non-surgical skin tightening and skin lifting cost? (lowest to highest)

  • Pelleve (radiofrequency)
  • Infini (radiofrequency needling)
  • Ultherapy (focused ultrasound)
  • Thread lift
  • Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing

Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers have variable costs per session.

The cost will depend on the type of treatment, the treatment area and how many sessions the client is after.

For further information please review our current pricing list.

How to prepare for your skin tightening treatment

Prior the laser and radio frequency treatments, ensure you have:

  • Completely clean skin, without any cosmetic products of any kind before coming in
  • Shaved the area prior, if there is excessive hair in the treatment area
  • Avoided sun exposure two weeks before treatment
  • Used a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above every day
  • Not used any topical treatments that cause photosensitivity (including but not limited to retinols, benzoyl peroxides, hydroxy acids, salicylic acid) on the treatment areas for three days prior the treatment
  • Not had any injections including dermal filler injections, or facial treatments such as chemical peels, in the treatment areas, for at least 2 weeks before the laser treatment


Prior the anti-wrinkle injections and dermal filler treatments, to minimise bruising, ensure you have:

  • Stopped any prescription medicines and vitamin supplements that affect blood clotting.
  • Discuss with your provider how much time in advance of you should discontinue these medications

What you can expect after your treatment

Immediately after your treatment, avoid direct sun exposure and always protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen like the SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50 Sunscreen. Exercise and heat (saunas, hot showers) on the treated areas should also be avoided.

Depending on the type of treatment, there may be visible bruising and swelling, or redness and heat in the skin. These normally subside within a few hours to a few days, with the exception of thread lifts and carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, which require 1-2 weeks to recover.

After the procedure, you can expect to see instant results, with fine lines and wrinkles diminished within the first day, and elasticity and skin tone improving within the coming weeks.

Over time the effect of the treatment increases as the cells regenerate and produce more collagen.

Limitations/side effects

Non-surgical skin treatments are generally considered safe, and come with fewer risks than surgical enhancements.

If you are taking prescription acne medication, or have skin cancer, please speak to your doctor. It’s also recommended that pregnant women should avoid laser and radio frequency skin treatments.

Side effects may include:

  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Tingling
  • Redness
  • Crusting
  • Bleeding

In rare cases, the skin may become burned. Please contact your provider if any serious complications occur.


What is the recommended treatment for skin tightening?

This will vary from client to client, depending on their needs. All treatments have little to no downtime and over time the effect of the treatment increases as cells regenerate and produce more collagen and elastin.

Depending on the treatment, some may require more than one session. For example, dermal fillers are suggested to have 6 to 12 monthly sessions, depending on the area and filler, whereas Ultherapy is suggested to have 1 session.

How much does skin tightening cost?

As our clinic offers a variety of skin tightening treatments, this will depend on what the client is trying to achieve, their choice of treatment, the treatment area and the number of sessions.

See here for our full price list.

How long does skin lifting last?

The results are not permanent but can last for several years. You’ll likely need to have occasional maintenance appointments.

Why should I choose the Victorian Cosmetic Institute as my provider of non-surgical skin tightening and lifting?

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, our doctors have a large range of dermal fillers for you to choose from to suit your needs and goals. We specialise in anti-wrinkle injections for facial lifting. We also have the latest technologies available to improve patient experience. With a number of skin tightening machines to choose from, our practitioners can select the option that suits your requirements.

For your initial consultation, you can contact our team on the phone or fill out our online enquiry form. It’s as easy as clicking “book online” button above and completing the provided form.

We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.

Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.